Jeff Ford
August 1, 2001
Contributers: Jeff Ford, Bill Erdman Photos By: Bill Erdman

The '68 GT500KR was a Mustang with all the subtlety of a cartoon superhero-sent with the express mission of smacking the competition as though he was the goofy antagonist that always seemed to end up on the short end of the Saturday morning cartoon shtick. To say that the KR flattened many a Cocky Camaro in its day would be an understatement.

In the real world, if the macho styling didn't get you, then the potent and new-for-1968 428 Cobra Jet would. When we look at the one-year KR, we can only smile. Here was a coup that only Shelby could deliver. Rumor has it that The General was looking to release a Chevelle in 1969 that would be called King of the Road. Since Shelby American was a bit more fleet of foot than the ponderous corporate entity that was General Motors, he managed a great coup in registering the name well before the giant corporation could-a feather in his black Gambler hat to be sure.

Another rumor surrounds the GT500KR as well-that the name came from the Top 40 song "King of the Road" by Roger Miller. Actually, it was just good fortune that the song was released about the time Shelby released the KR. Sometimes you're just in the right place at the right time

Speaking of that, we have to believe that Jim Celentano of Staten Island, New York, was-like Shelby-in the right place at the right time. Let's face it, how often do you find a gem like this one? Well, diamond in the rough might be a better description of the Highland Green fastback when Jim latched on to it. But what Jim latched onto was a piece of Shelby history that exudes all of the Hulk-like qualities you'd want a Mustang to have. First, it has the 428 Cobra Jet-docile but is able to turn it on in a microsecond; it's also something that Shelby latched onto only in the last three months of production. Second, its running gear is the fabled Ford Top Loader four-speed and street-friendly 3.50 rear gear. Other amenities include the mandatory options (if they're mandatory, why bother calling them an option?!), such as power steering, power disc brakes, and the federally mandated shoulder harnesses. Other options the Shelby is dressed out with include ram air and everyone's favorite, 10-spokes.

Like so many of us, Jim took his time restoring the GT500KR. "It took five long years to complete this car with the help of family and friends," said Jim. Indeed, family and friends seem to be the best sources to complete a job. And when you own a piece of Shelby history that has the subtlety of Superheroes, such as Captain America or the Hulk, you just naturally step a little lighter and smile a whole lot more.